An assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University was all ready to study thousands of photos of penises, but thanks to the national attention given to her attempt to analyze the relationship between male self-esteem and penis size, the effort has gone, well, limp.
And that's a shame, really! The subject of penises is a very serious
and under-discussed matter
in civil society. Where does one even find penises these days?
It's not like wangs are simply dropping out of sky here
. Naturally, professor Alicia Walker needed to seek out some significant dick-related data to advance her research.
Specially, Walker was looking for 3,600 photos of penises, both flaccid and erect, along with precise measurements.
Walker's study was first reported on early this week in the Springfield News-Leader
, and the story quickly engendered coverage from coast to coast, with an army of snarky, purple-prose'd headlines. Vice
, in a representative example, titled its piece, "This Professor Needs Thousands of Dick Pics for Her Study on Penis Size." The New York Post
went with a somewhat restrained tactic, going with, "Professor wants pictures of penises — for science."
The coverage may have been good for some chuckles, but it was apparently bad news for Walker's study. In follow-up story published today, the News-Leader reported
that the professor has decided to cancel the project "voluntarily."
"I continue to believe the relationship between penis size and self-esteem is an important site of scientific inquiry, but the public reaction to the project threatens the reliability of the survey responses," Walker said in a statement to the paper. "The reliability of the study as a whole has been compromised."
In Walker's defense, she'd previously specified that the dick pics she was seeking were "not sexy," and that the photos were needed for a clinical evaluation that would accompany the interview portion of the survey. Participants would be giving up their penis details for free. According to Missouri State, the study was not funded by the university or any governmental institute. The problem, apparently, is that the massive tidal wave of publicity was almost certain to skew the results.
In the beginning, though, Walker was just a sociology professor trolling for dick pics. Interestingly, someone working for her had even taken to the internet to solicit survey participants directly, including those in the subreddit r/smalldickproblems.
While the original post
is now deleted, the responses remain for posterity.
The post noted that it was important for the study include all sizes of dicks. "We've actually gotten a considerable number of participants with smaller penises," the solicitor wrote.
The post's author maintained that reaching out to the subreddit dedicated to small dicks wouldn't sway the final results of the survey, and he or she encouraged men with low self-esteem to participate as well.
"I don’t assume that only smaller men have low self esteem," the author explained earlier in in a different reply thread. "I personally know various men with smaller penises that seem to have all of the confidence in the world. The general belief of those not involved in the study is that those with smaller penises have lower self esteem levels and those with larger penises have higher self esteem levels. We’re quickly learning that this isn’t the case. We’d appreciate your participation!"
Alas, this media landscape's indefensible obsession with dick-mockery couldn't relent even for science — not everything about dicks has to be a joke, come on —
and honestly, we're penis poorer for it.
In related news,
everybody in Missouri is pretty chill
with their respective body and dick sizes, so we have that going for us.
Editor's note: A previous version of this post stated incorrectly that the Reddit account used to reach out to prospective participants had been deleted. It has not. We regret the error.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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